Donald Sterling has no plans to give up ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers despite being caught on audiotape allegedly using racial slurs, and will propose his estranged wife, Shelly, to fill in for him pending the outcome of the NBA investigation, RadarOnline.com is exclusively reporting.
“Donald is agreeable to stepping down pending the outcome of the NBA investigation,” a source told RadarOnline.com. “The 80-year-old has no plans to sell the team … the NBA can’t force him to do it. He loves the team, and currently in the NBA, Donald holds the record for being the longest owner.
“He truly believes that once his version of events comes out, the public will feel very differently. He believes that the audiotape that captured those remarks have been altered.”
Radar broke the story: the National Basketball Association is preparing to indefinitely suspend the 80-year-old billionaire owner of the Los Angeles Clippers unless he agrees to step down and sell the team he has owned since 1981.
A source close to the investigation described the potential deal as a “blessing in disguise” for both the team and the NBA. Sterling has long been criticized, up until recent years, for his ambivalence of fielding a sub-par product, to the tune of a .368 winning percentage the past 20 years, and a stigma of being inferior to the neighbor Lakers.
The league has announced it will conduct a swift and thorough investigation of the alleged racist rants made by Sterling, who as Radar reported, was caught on audio tape questioning his girlfriend’s association with minorities.
Sterling allegedly mentioned Los Angeles Lakers Hall of Famer Magic Johnson on the recording, saying: “Don’t bring him to my games, OK?”
A top-ranking official told Radar that “if the NBA determines the tape is authentic, they have indicated he will be indefinitely suspended unless he agrees to step down and sell the team.”
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said the league needs to confirm authenticity of the audio tape and interview both Sterling and the woman in the recording.
The NBA is expected to hold a press conference before Tuesday’s playoff game between the Clippers and Golden State Warriors, and announce their investigation into Sterling’s racist comments.
“Donald’s racist views were hardly shocking to anyone outside of the NBA,” said the source. “Let’s not forget, he was sued by former Clipper manager Elgin Baylor for racial discrimination, and settled a lawsuit with the government over allegations that he discriminated against tenants at apartment buildings he owns. Donald doesn’t have any friends or allies among other owners in the league.”
“Donald will NOT be going down without a fight,” the source added. “Any attempt to force him to sell the team will be met with legal action.”